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THE ORACLE AND THE IMPIOUS MAN. Jean de La Fontaine

None wish to cozen heaven but the fool;
The mystic labyrinths of the human heart
Lie open to the gods in every part:
All that man does is under their wise rule,
Even things done in darkness are revealed
To those from whom no single act′s concealed.
A Pagan—a vile rogue in grain,
Whose faith in gods, it′s very plain,
Was but to use them as a dictionary,
For consultation wary—
Went once to try Apollo to deceive,
With or without his leave.
"Is what I hold," he said, "alive or no?"
He held a sparrow, you must know,
Prepared to kill it or to let it fly;
To give the god at once the lie.
Apollo saw the plan within his head,
And answered—
"Dead or alive," he said, "produce your sparrow.
Try no more tricks, for I can always foil;
Such stratagems, you see, do but recoil.
I see afar, and far I cast my arrow."

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